In the 3rd grade I had my first “boy-friend”; his name was Webb and he sat on the front row right next to me. I will never forget the day he asked me if I would wear is ID bracelet – you know the silver ones that dangle a bit and have a person’s initials monogrammed on it? Yeah, so I really thought I was cool! I had an ID bracelet from a “heartthrob” who was pursuing me! I was all of 9-years old then! (that was back in the day when we did not feel we had to push children to hurry up and learn! We understood the value of “work is a child’s play” ~ Elkind) OK, OK, I’ll get off my soap box…at least for now. As an educator I can get high on my soap box about the fallacies in education today. SSSSOOOO….Webb was pursuing me!
All throughout high school my parents were adamant that I allow the boys to do the pursuing. I was not allowed to call boys, ask them out (except to my sorority formal once a year), or overtly flirt! That was considered “normal’ in those days ~ you know, kind of the way God set it up! What a novel idea! See, although environments have changed and circumstances differ in many ways, people are the same as they were in the beginning and they will be basically the same until Christ returns.
Admittedly, when I went to college, I did a little more of the pursuing of one particular guy; however, he pursued me even harder. Fast forward a few more years when my now sister-in-law, whom I was teaching school with, insisted that I meet her brother-in-law (who is now my husband). Once we met, the pursuit was on big time, and it worked! We’ve now been married 29-years!
You know who has been pursuing me harder than anyone else my whole life long? God the Father! He longs for relationship with me! He is intimately acquainted with me! Little ole me! Why in the world would He want a relationship with me ~ one who has fallen and failed too many times to count; one who has strayed far from the Father during some very rebellious times; one who seems to still be seeking man’s approval more than God’s approval….WHY would the Heavenly Father desire a personal, intimate, ongoing, deep love relationship with me? I can’t answer that! Yet, I am so very grateful that He never gives up on me, even when I’m tempted to give up on myself. After I botch it, He turns right around and pursues me even harder, desperately desiring to bring me back into right relationship with Him. He is a God of second chances, “do-overs” if you will.
Seems to me that many of us spend a lot of time pursuing the “American Dream” (whatever that is); pursuing our education (which is not a bad thing); pursuing relationships (again, not a bad thing); pursuing opportunities to be some-body or to do something big; pursuing better looks, a better figure, more and better materialism…none of those things are necessarily wrong. What can be wrong is how those pursuits fit into our relationship with our Creator, our God, our Lord, our PURSUER! It basically boils down to priorities, doesn’t it? When we are in right relationship with the Heavenly Father, all the other things will fall into place as HE sees fit and according to His will. That may mean we won’t have the “most’ or the “best”, monetarily or materialistically speaking…our plans may not be His plans and our ways may not be His ways. Weigh them on the scales: His ways vs. my ways! Which do you think are the best? HIS ways e.v.e.r.y. s.i.n.g.l.e. t.i.m.e. Read what Isaiah says in Chapter 55: (NIV)
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,
because of the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor."
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way
and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD's renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed.